Organic Poppy Seed
Poppy seeds, for being as tiny as they are, have a wide variety of uses and controversies surrounding them. This seed comes from the plant Papaver somniferum, which also produces some beautiful flowers.
Organic poppy seeds have no volatile oil, but they do have fixed oils ranging from 40%-60% which are primarily made up of linoleic acid.
These seeds have interesting names in other languages. In Arabic it is called "khash khash," in Mandarin it is called "ying shu ciao," in French "pivot somnifere," in German you will hear "mohn," in Hindi "khas-khas," in Japanese "keshi," in Portuguese "papoula," in Russian it is mak snotvornyj," and in Spanish "semilla de amapola" is the name of choice. The plant where the seeds come from may be called the opium poppy or the breadseed poppy.
These tiny seeds have a huge history. They have been valued since the ancient times for their uses in both medicine and cooking. In 1804, morphine was first isolated from the poppy plant. German pharmacist Friedrich Serturner was is believed to be the first person to ever isolate an alkaloid from a plant. He named it morphium from the Greek name Morpheus. Morpheus was the god of dreams in Greek mythology. His drug became widely used in 1815 after many years of intense study and research on the effects of the drug. Merck the drug chemist company started marketing this drug commercially in 1827, at a time where it was just a single shop in Darmstadt, Germany.
In the mid-1800s, wars were fought between England and China because the Chinese did not want Western traders bringing opium into their country, especially since heavy reliance to opium was becoming a widespread problem in Western countries.
In both the book and the film The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy and animal companions Toto the dog and the Cowardly Lion walk through a field of opium poppies, which causes them fall into an incredibly deep sleep. L. Frank Baum, the author of this famed story, was very clever to make the characters wake up with the introduction of snow to their systems by Glenda the Good Witch. At the time of his writing the novel, "snow" was a nickname for cocaine. When patents would overdose on opium, doctors would often administer cocaine to reverse the effects of the opium.
Poppy seeds in cooking have an interesting history as well. Eastern Europeans have used both the blue-black and white poppy seeds in baking. In Germany, these seeds have been used for desserts, and in Poland they are a huge part of the cuisine.
Poppy seeds have been mentioned in Ancient Egyptian texts as well as Sumerian texts. These seeds are believed to have been used in cooking for thousands of years. Some cultures used to believe that ingesting the seeds or wearing them in jewelry, usually after they had been covered in gold, would bring them good luck and wealth. The opium poppy is part of the coat of arms for the United Kingdom's Royal College of Anaesthetists, which is quite fitting.
The poppy plant grows anywhere from three to five feet tall and has pink, red, or purple flowers. This plant prefers space, so they need to be planted with a distance of 6 inches to a foot apart from one another. They thrive in well-drained soil but can adapt to many soil types. Poppies grown in particularly wet areas require a good drainage system because they are very susceptible to diseases to their roots and leaves. These diseases are more likely to thrive in wetter climates. Root rot is a huge issue for poppies that grow in wet climates. After the seed pod has grown fully, it must be dried out before the seeds can be harvested. The seed pod is considered fully grown when it starts turning yellow-brown from its original green color. The seeds produced are extremely small, shaped like kidneys, and are a slate blue or white color. It can take between 900,000 and 2 million seeds, depending on size of the seeds to make up a whole pound of poppy seeds.
These plants should not be confused with their closely related cousins who are used in the manufacturing of opiates. These cousins are grown in Asia, particularly the region called the "Golden Triangle" which is made up of Thailand, Burma, and Laos. The culinary plant is grown in Romania, Turkey, India, Australia, and the Netherlands. The culinary poppy seed has a very low level of opiates and are used for cooking purposes only. Since poppy seeds can only be harvested once the seed pods have dried out, and their opium rich latex has dried out, these seeds are of no use medicinally.
Our Organic Poppy Seeds are from Turkey.
Poppy seeds can be ground down using a special grinder specifically designed for them to form a paste that is excellent in sweets and on breads. A paste that is used in filling breads can be made from ground poppy seeds, butter or milk, and sugar.
Lemon and poppy seed are always an excellent combination. These two elements combined in a crepe and topped off with a blueberry sauce are a perfect breakfast food. You can also combine both the flavor of lemon and poppy seed to make delicious cakes, breads, cookies, or cupcakes. Any baking venture can be made brighter with these flavors.
Kutia, or Kutya, is a sweet poppy seed and sweet grain pudding that is popular in the Ukraine. This is a very nutritious dish that is somewhat labor intensive, though the results are sweet and well worth the effort that goes into making it. It is full of fruits like raisins and dried apricots, making for a unique flavor experience.
They are an essential ingredient in the Japanese spice blend Shichimi Togarashi. In northern India, some cooks use ground poppy seeds to help thicken up soups and stews. Poppy seeds are also incredibly popular in salad dressings and with vegetable dishes. You may even find them in some fancy fruit salads.
Poppy seeds are nutty and slightly sweet with a smoky aroma.
In certain scenarios, poppy seeds can be used as a substitute for sesame seeds and vice versa. Nigella seeds can be substituted for poppy seeds in some cases as well, due to their sort of similar flavor and color.
Poppy seeds have a higher oil content, so they can be frozen if you are hoping to store them for a particularly long time.
|Ingredients||Organic Poppy Seeds|
|Recommended Uses||Use to thicken soups and stews, in salad dressing, vegetable dishes and fruit salads|
|Flavor Profile||Nutty and slightly sweet|
|How To Store||Airtight container in a cool, dark place|
|Shelf Life||1-2 years|
|Country of Origin||Turkey|
|Dietary Preferences||Gluten Free, Kosher, Non-GMO|
Serving Size1 tsp
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*